That's not all. I have lists of freelance assignments that I've made to various writers. There are lists of publication deadlines, editorial calendars, all sorts of lists that I use to organize my personal and professional life. Nearly all of these live as text files on my Mac desktop. (A few are spreadsheets.)
It would be great to have all those documents available when I travel ï¿¼ without having to bring paper copies, and without having to fire up my laptop (which I don't always have with me anyway).
Sadly, there's no Apple-provided way to sync data like that between an iPhone and a Windows/Mac laptop. Mac Mail has a "notes" feature, but amazingly, those notes aren't synced to the iPhone.
There's nothing Apple's MobileMe service that can do the job, either. Sure, you can put those documents into your iDisk and share them between different Windows/Mac desktops and notebooks, but there's nothing in the iPhone that can access them.
The best solution that I've found so far is Google Docs, which offers online creation of word processor documents, spreadsheets and graphics presentations. Google Docs is free, to start with, so there's no harm in trying it. From your browser, you can access a fairly rich word processor via your favorite browser.
If you use iGoogle as your home page, you can add a Google Doc gadget the main screen, so you can access all the document you've stored on that system with one or two clicks. It's very convenient.
What about iPhone access? Google has created an excellent browser view of all three document types ï¿¼ word processing, spreadsheets and presentations ï¿¼ optimized for the iPhone. You can even install a Google Docs button right onto your home screen, if you have an iPhone 3G, or an iPod touch or original iPhone with the 2.0 upgrade.
The downside is that, at the present time, all of these views are read-only. You can't update your online to-do list, for example. However, having the current versions of these documents handy is still worth the (free) price of admission.